Covid-19 and Journalism

BRUCE SHAPIRO, Executive Director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, FJA 2020 Expert Council Member:

“Unless you’re in the hospitals, or in the morgues, or in the triage centers, or dealing with a sick family member, it’s an abstract threat.”

“The crucial job of front line journalism right now is to make this abstract threat real by showing us what the impact of coronavirus really is. Bringing the reality home is crucial to all of us as citizens for knowing what our individual responsibility is, and why we are accepting these extreme social distancing measures. It’s crucial to our public health and political leadership in mobilizing the right resources and having a sense of urgency behind that, and it’s also crucial for the ill and the bereaved so that they can feel less alone.”

“Other communities won’t be prepared for what they’re facing, or won’t have witnesses to what they’re facing.” “It will become like the opioid epidemic, this invisible wave of suffering that hits communities that aren’t on the coasts. The more local news engages with coronavirus issues before the caseload becomes overwhelming, the better prepared the public will be. This is gonna be a crucial test of what’s left of the American news ecosystem.”

“People Are Dying”: The Front Lines of the COVID-19 War Are in the World’s Media Capital

Vanity Fair - March 26, 2020